For this next post in our series on how to use the various social media channels for PR, we turn to Twitter. Unlike LinkedIn, which is used primarily for business related connections and content, or Facebook, which has more of a friends-and-family feel, Twitter covers just about everything. People do use it to have conversations with people they know well, but they also use it as a source for information about breaking news and business. This makes using Twitter for PR a bit tricky, but it can really pay off. Here are a few quick tips on how to make Twitter work for you.
Monitor for Journalists Looking for a Source
Twitter is an excellent resource for journalists looking for sources or quick comments on a story. Following journalists in your space and closely monitoring for queries is an essential first step in leveraging Twitter for PR. Also be sure to follow @ProfNet and @HelpaReporter. Both accounts share urgent source requests from reporters. Keep in mind that the clock is usually ticking when journalists are looking for a source.
Monitor and Reach Influencers
Social media is a critical way to monitor and engage influencers in your space. Not only can you keep tabs on what they are talking about, but you can also become a useful resource to your audience by sharing content created by key influencers.
Connect with Peers and Join the Conversation
In addition to keeping an eye on what’s happening in your brand’s industry, don’t forget to use Twitter to keep up with what’s going on in PR. It is an excellent resource for connecting with other PR pros and sharing useful content and ideas.
Use a Scheduler, but Pay Attention
There are many software applications designed to help you manage your social media activities and prepare posts in advance. Hootsuite and Buffer are popular choices. These are great time savers that help you remain active on Twitter without devoting too much time to it. We recommend them, but with one caveat. Don’t fire and forget. Many brands have faced embarrassing situations due to pre-scheduled Tweets that don’t seem right in light of current circumstances.
Monitor and Protect Your Reputation
The wonderful thing about Twitter is that anyone can say anything to the whole world. The horrible thing about Twitter is that anyone can say anything to the whole world. As a PR pro it is your responsibility to understand what is being said about your brand and to proactively takes steps to protect your reputation. Whether that is simply stepping in to take customer service issues off line, or to apologize for mistakes, you need to be an active participant in the conversation about your organization.
Twitter has recently updated its list functionality and we find it very useful. Lists are a great way to categorize the feeds that you follow. You can create groups of journalists, customers, influencers and peers so that you are able to easily find content of interest.
Don’t Neglect Your Personal Brand
Keep in mind that Twitter is an important channel for developing and promoting your personal brand. The best way to grow your number of followers is to keep active, retweet the posts of others and engage in conversations and chats.
Tweets with images get three to four times more engagement than those without. It pays off to add relevant, carefully selected images to your tweets. Be sure to use a relevant filename to help support your SEO efforts.
Twitter can be an extremely effective part of your PR strategy, but we have one bonus tip. Don’t let it be a chore. With the right media monitoring and scheduling software in place, you can be an active member of the Twitter community without sacrificing your sanity or neglecting other work. #TwitterBoss